Meet Tim Jones, the mind behind Kabooooom’s new original webcomic Next Gen. The comic follows the life of a down-on-his-luck 20something named Lewis and his retired father Phil. Though new to Kabooooom, Jones has been around the cartooning circuit for years, even holding his own comic strip in his college’s newspaper called Lexington Avenue. To celebrate the debut of Next Gen Jones agreed to give would-be fans a peek behind the pencil to meet the man behind the comics.
How did you first get into cartooning? How long have you been making comics?
Tim Jones: The first time I’ve ever really exposed myself to comics was when I was 9 or 10, and in fourth grade. My classroom had a little library in the corner. One day I was looking through the books, and came across “The Essential Calvin and Hobbes.” I probably read that book over a dozen times in one week. It got to the point where I was copying drawings of Calvin and making little dioramas of my favorite scenes.
Then came the notebook. I had a regular marble notebook that I began to doodle in, and draw simple comics in (mostly about Pokemon and a character I created called ‘Sam Buny’).
My teacher did regular notebook checks. Once a week we were supposed to leave our notebooks on the desk during recess for our teacher to check.
I left my drawing book with the rest of my notebooks (keep in mind that it was a separate notebook) thinking that my teacher would like it, or at least approve of it. To my dismay, I found it with some pages cut out, and a red line over the latest drawings and the words “Leave this at home” written in red colored pencil. I still have that notebook, and I’ve been drawing ever since. I’ve drawn comics for my school’s paper both in high school and college, so it’s been close to 8 years I’ve been printed in a publication.
What inspired Next Gen? What can you tell everyone about Lewis and his father?
Tim Jones: This series was one of those ideas that came with the character. In other words, Lewis was the first thing about Next Gen that came to be.
Lewis is a classic egoist, and a loving, naive character would be a great foil. Once I understood who Lewis was, his dad began to take shape. His love of movies and games, and his father’s ignorance, provide a lot of the back-and-forth between the two.
Lewis, named after C.S. Lewis, is an avid gamer, comic book jock (his words) and movie buff. He’s not really a bad guy, but Lewis’ better-than-thou attitude can be trying at times, especially when under the control of his father once again.
Phil, named after my brother, is Lewis’s dad, and a recent retiree. After working in the accounting world for over twenty years, he’s found himself without cause or motivation.
But with his son back, Phil decided that he wants to spend time being the dad he never got a chance to be. Whether Lewis wants it or not.
What are you hoping readers will take away from Next Gen? What is your ultimate goal for this series?
Tim Jones: Honestly, I’m happy when people read a comic I’ve made and enjoy it. If it brightens someone’s day, even for just a moment, then I can say I’ve done a good job.
If I were to dig deeper, though, I think I want readers to understand that all these things we like (or don’t like) can be bridges between people we may not understand at first. If you enjoy something, you’ll enjoy it more if you share it. And I think you’ll find that you enjoy the person you’re sharing it with more and more.
You can check out Next Gen for yourself, every week only at KABOOOOOM!